On March 12, the NHL and the AHL announced a pause in the championships due to the coronavirus pandemic. Soon after, players and clubs began raising funds to help arena workers. The action was led by Sergey Bobrovsky, who made a generous donation to BB&T Center freelancers who were left without work due to cancellation of events. His example was followed by the rest of the Florida hockey players and many NHL clubs.
Many, but not all – Calgary management refused to compensate employees for wage losses; Winnipeg became another club on this list. True, after criticism fell upon them, both teams changed their position.
While some NHL clubs do not want to help workers, the situation in the AHL is more complicated – there are no such financial opportunities.
The most creative way to save the situation was found in the Vancouver farm club – Utica Comets. The team decided to make money selling T-shirts with the words “Puck the Virus”. You can buy them on the club’s official website, the price is $ 25. Revenues will go to the salaries of 50 full-time employees who work in the parent company of the Mohawk Valley Garden club. In essence, it is the company who is responsible for the arena, parking and three cafes in the adjacent territory.
Comets President Robert Esche said t-shirts are the team’s vice president’s marketing idea and the talking slogan is the brainchild of TV presenter Joe Roberts.
Now, these t-shirts are the only hope of the company employees. Due to the pandemic, the AHL season will not resume until May.